I walked into work one morning this week to find a large grocery bag full of herbs sitting on my desk. As I approached my work station, I smelled the earthy spiciness of it and I soon identified a bunch of oregano alongside what looked like a bush of sage. It was absolutely the largest quantity of sage I have ever seen in one place at one time. My boss had harvested some herbs from his garden and decided he wanted to share.
I made two major decisions that day. One, I decided to dry my own herbs. And by decided to dry my own herbs, I really mean, accidentally left my herbs at the office for three days and ended up drying them. Oops. The second decision was more deliberate. Later that day I decided it was the perfect evening to bust this out of the beer fridge and give it a try.
This saison is brewed with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme (get it? mom? dad?). It is a collaboration beer brewed by Dogfish Head, Victory, and Stone. How could you go wrong with that combination of breweries? I thought I was dreaming when I saw this on the shelf. I was pumped to try it.
A saison is a refreshing summer ale, which originated in the French speaking region of Belgium. Saison means “season” in French, and this beer was traditionally brewed in the late autumn to early winter, stored for months, and then served to farmhands while they worked in the fields during the summer season. It is usually low in alcohol content, pale and cloudy in color, and has a generous amount of hops which were traditionally used as a natural preservative to prevent spoilage during the several months of cellaring. The saison is sometimes referred to as a farmhouse ale.
The beer pours a pale golden color that is hazy in the glass, with a thick foamy head. You can immediately smell the sage, and maybe some rosemary. The parsley and thyme were harder for me to pick out in the nose. It tastes crisp and spicy with a distinct light hoppiness, with hints of clove, sage, rosemary, and pine. It was like no other beer I have ever tasted, and it was very refreshing. I think every foodie should try it once.
I might have to buy a case and hoard it in my apartment to get us through the extended summer that we suffer from enjoy every year here in central Virginia. I would most likely drink this while cooking a fresh herb-filled meal in my small and sweltering hot kitchen, or while enjoying an after-work snack and drink out on the porch. Try popping one open for the man in your life when he comes in from mowing the lawn. This is a good brew for backyard barbecues, tipsy weekend brunches, and outdoor concerts. And for the Scarborough Fair.
P.S. That Raven looks like it might win in a fight with that shark, right?